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Japanese ag students arrive at Big Bend

by CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE
Staff Writer | June 30, 2022 3:54 PM

MOSES LAKE — Thirty-one Japanese exchange students arrived at Big Bend Community College this week to start their 19-month-long studies in the United States as part of the Japanese Agricultural Training Program.

According to a BBCC press release, since the JATP was started in 1966, over 5,000 Japanese students have come to the U.S. to improve the country’s agricultural practices and learn new techniques from U.S. farmers.

Trainees in the program will spend the first nine weeks at BBCC taking intensive English courses and introductory classes in agriculture, living in Big Bend’s dorms and learning about American culture first-hand through field trips and activities in and around Moses Lake, the press release said.

After that, the students will then disperse to host farms across the United States to spend 14 months developing their skills and knowledge in their chosen agricultural specialties as well as additional training and education at another U.S. college or university, the press release said.

“This is a wonderful program. It’s really exciting to see the group, how shy they are to speak English when they first arrive on campus and how courageous they become in nine weeks,” said program director Carla Louise Christian in the press release. “But the real growth happens when they are on their host farm and able to interact with other co-workers as they train.”

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